Prank backfires as swim team makes Beijing
The Sandringham resident played an integral part in the qualification process, recording a scorching 49.40 seconds, almost a second faster than his best individual time.
“That was a special race. It was just us in a pool and everyone was going crazy in the complex,” he says.
“I was shaking up on the blocks but ready to do what I needed to do.”
Orinoco’s success comes on top of securing a gold medal at the world junior champs in Mexico last month in his favoured 50m freestyle.
Securing the top spot was especially pleasing for the teen because he fell ill during the event, although he missed out on the Olympic qualifying time for the 50m at the New Zealand trials in March.
The 18-year-old says he’s looking forward to rubbing shoulders with other athletes in Beijing, and will try to take in a game of basketball if he gets time.
He will have the support of his mum Alosina, after a fundraising campaign raised enough money for her to travel to Beijing.
“It definitely helps me out having someone from home there. It keeps me grounded and focused on what I have to do,” he says.
Orinoco’s Laser Mt Eden club coach Glenn Hamblyn is confident the relay team, which also includes Cameron Gibson and William Benson, will do well at the Games. “Guys tend to put a bit more in for the team. They’ll be gunning for the final.”
It’s the first time a swimmer from the Mt Eden club has reached the Olympics since Anthony Mosse in the 1980s.
“It’s good for young kids to see what can be achieved,” Hamblyn says.
The men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay heat is on Sunday, with the final on Monday.